Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Motorcycle Rides

Ended up not having to work like I usually do on Saturdays. My buddy Jeremy called me up and asked if I wanted to go for a ride. He has this really cool brand new Monster Ducati so he loves riding it. 
I brought over my spare Sena bluetooth headset that I keep for my spare helmet and installed it on Jeremy's Ducati helmet. It was my first time riding with another biker where we were able to talk the whole time. Usually I just use it to communicate with a passenger. It was so cool to be able to talk to Jeremy while were rode up to Park City.
The Tour of Utah was going on and saw a lot of bikers. We cruised up and down Main St. then stopped at Squatters to get some lunch. I got a tasty bacon burger.
Later we went over to the Outlet stores to see if anything was good there. They seemed exactly like the ones in Traverse Mountain, so we didn't stay long.
On our way back we went through Midway and stopped at the Crater at Midway. Jeremy had never been there before, so he was excited to see it. I was surprised nobody said anything to us. We just walked in and took some pics and left. It was somewhat crowded in there. Seemed about 20 people were floating around in it.
Overall it was a nice weekend relaxing and finished Saturday night at the Real Monarch's game. We had enough hands in stats, so I didn't have to do much during the game, but had to gather quotes and transcribe after the game like I normally do for RSL. I didn't mind it. Soccer is great and it was a nice way to end a Saturday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Should I come back to Blogging? - Cycling - The New Hobby

Recently I have been seeking out blogs of people from around the world who have been on the Camino de Santiago del Norte. I served my mission for 2 years along the northern coast of Spain and lived in many cities that the Camino went through, including nearly 4 months in Santiago de Compostela, which is the final destination to most of the routes.

I met a LDS Spaniard from Barcelona when I was serving in Santiago de Compostela back in the summer of 2001. He had just completed riding his mountain bike from the boarder of France all the way to Santiago in 10 days. I was blown away by how much strength this guy had and it has since lit a fire in me that has been with me ever since. I knew that someday I wanted to return to do the Camino, but I didn't know how or when, because I wasn't into cycling, and I knew there would be no way that I would be able to get a full month off work to be able to walk it.
I've been back to Spain a handful of times since coming home from Spain from my 2 year mission, but have only returned to the Northern Coast 2 times.

This year I decided to by a bicycle and get into a new sport to keep me in shape. I didn't know what I wanted to do between mountain bike and road biking, so I bought a Schwinn Hybrid bike from Walmart, so I can have a little of both. Since then, my roommate Caz has been a big inspiration to me, since he works at a bicycle shop and has several types of very nice and costly bikes. He showed me Strava and how addicting it is.

I've been doing anywhere from 15 to 30 plus mile biking trips each time I get on my bike. I recently cycled 31 miles one Saturday evening and another 50 miles the following Sunday morning in order to complete the 131km Strava Gran Fondo challenge in July. I don't have a light bike with toe clips,  I don't have a cool skin tight jersey, though I have some nice gel padded cycling shorts, but I find that I am able to keep pushing myself. The more I do it, the further I want to go, even though I must say, the 50 miles after doing 30 was killer on my legs turning them into jello. I had over 2,500 ft elevation gain between the two days. I later recovered from sore legs 2 days later and was ready for more.

The following weekend I did a 14 mile round trip hike to the top of Mt. Timponogos with a Spanish friend who had never been. We went up Saturday evening and camped in the meadows and then finished on Sunday. It was pretty tough carrying such a heavy pack with tent and sleeping gear, but I did it and feel my legs are much stronger now because of it. We took our time, but I think we did it round trip in around 8-9 hours. Keep in mind you are also going up at least a mile in elevation.

All the exercise is getting me excited to do the Camino which I have been planning for a couple of months now. I already booked my bike rental in Spain and hotel in Bilbao where I will be starting. It's becoming more and more real every day.
I have put a lot of thought an planning into the trip and been keeping track of web pages I come across, such as blogs and other important forum information with details about the Camino from others who have done it. A month from today I will be flying to Spain to start the Camino in hopes of crossing off another item from my bucket list.

Reading others' blogs has been motivational to want to do the same, but I don't know if I want to do do live blogging, because I am the type who is always on the go with little time to stop and want to write. I will for sure keep a journal, but I'm not exactly sure yet when I will transcribe.

Overall, I am thinking about writing on this blog again more often to be able share my experiences on the Camino, because I have found it so helpful to read from other bloggers doing the same.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Real Salt Lake vs BYU Exhibition game Recap

I heard about this match going down in Provo on Saturday night the 19th of May, so I emailed my RSL boss Trey to see if they needed any extra help during the game. He said he wanted me to be the PR guy down at the game and be in charge and take game notes and write a recap on the game, along with obtaining some quotes as well for the RSL website. I was super nervous, because I've never drafted a press release after a RSL match before. They usually leave that to the interns to do. The most I ever do as far as writing goes is get quotes from the teams and compile them on a laptop to be posted for the website later.

I came eager and ready to get my mission accomplished. I sat with Brian Kamler, who is a sports color analyst for ESPN700, so I knew I could listen to him and his partner call the game and I could listen to it to make sure my notes were also correct. The game went well and I came up with nearly 4 pages of notes. I talked with MLS.com writer Randy Davis, and he told me that he was asked to write a recap by one of the RSL interns. I told him I was doing the same, so we both agreed to write a different kind of angle on the game, so it wasn't the same.  

I came home that evening after the 1-1 tie game and doing some interviews and helping PR with the journalists. I thought I had a deadline, so I worked fervently. After about 2 and a half hours I finally finished my RECAP that I wrote in a rush. I emailed it into my boss.

It has been 2 days since then, and he has not emailed me back giving me any kind of feed back. I emailed him again Sunday morning with a slightly altered version of the release just in case...Still no reply over a day later. I went onto RSL's website only to find that Randy's version of his RECAP had been published, and not mine. He has some quote from players and the head coach, who we didn't even interview after the game. He did a great job as always, but I'm a little upset that mine didn't go up as well. It's more of a play-by-play recap, and I thought I did well writing it. So i'm a little upset that it didn't get published after spending my entire Saturday evening and night working on it. If my release wasn't needed,  it would have been nice to know, and I wouldn't have written it. Either way, I didn't want it to go to waste, so Ithought I would post my RECAP Release, so that it can be another sample of my writing to my blog.

REAL SALT LAKE Finish With a 1-1 Draw at BYU Exhibition Game

Provo, UT. (Saturday, May 19, 2012)Real Salt Lake (8-3-2, 26 points, West #1) Finished with a draw in the first exhibition game against BYU since October 2009. RSL MF Will Johnson found the back of the net for the team’s only goal in the 46th minute where the opportunity was created by Fabian Espindola, when Espindola chipped the ball in to the center of the box, where Johnson right footed the ball toward the right side of the net.

Played on the South Field on BYU’s campus, RSL came out attacking early with Espindola getting a shot on goal in the 2nd minute. RSL continued attacking BYU with multiple shots. A head-in from Bonfigli in the 16th minute came off the cross bar. From there RSL had 3 corner kicks in the late teen minutes that set RSL up for a couple more shots that seemed to be blocked by BYU’s defense. BYU rallied back and took a shot on goal giving Kyle Reynish his first save of the game in the 21st minute. BYU did a fantastic job clogging up the mid field and made some really solid runs on RSL. BYU’s defense made it difficult for RSL to get a clear shot on frame until the very end of the first half after BYU took their first corner in the 45th minute which resulted in the ball headed out and brought down the field where Espindola chipped the ball into the center of the box to find Johnson, who then put the ball away to the back of the right side of the net in the 46th minute.

Following the 1-0 first half, RSL brought early energy to the second stanza, most of it through Cody Arnoux. The New York striker harassed the Cougar backline, only to have an open shot blocked by a slide tackle from BYU’s Sterling Hancock, which prevented Arnoux from scoring. RSL continued to do a good job wearing down BYU, but BYU managed to keep their players fresh with 6 substitutions in the first half, and 8 in the second half, while RSL’s only substitutions came at the beginning of the second half with 4 substitutions.

RSL came close a few more times in the second half with two shots by Saborio, and another by Grabavoy that bounced off the wood work. The game started to change starting in the 80th minute when Cruz was issued a yellow card for a hard tackle on BYU’s David Gates.

RSL’s last chance at scoring came in the 87th minute when Saborio was fouled at the top of the 18 yard box that set up a free kick taken by Grabavoy that ricochet off  the far post. RSL missed passes that created opportunities for BYU to come back into the game and score in the 89th minute by David Gates, assisted by Dallin Cutler. BYU’s Garrett Losee had a steal in the final 92nd minute which left him with a wide open shot just a few yards in front of GK Kyle Reynish that went far left of goal bringing the crowd of 3,845 to their feet to end the game.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes – BYU 1 : 1 RSL

      RSL DF Chris Wingert did not suit due to a left hamstring injury which occurred in the Seattle match. Also Chris Schuler was missing due to a foot injury. RSL was already out talismanic MF Javier Morales due to a right quadriceps strain.

      Last exhibition game against BYU was on October 2, 2009, which resulted in a 3-1 victory for the Claret-and-Cobalt over the Cougars’ turf. This occurred nearly a month and a half before RSL captured the MLS Cup 2009 title

      BYU Men’s soccer team recently returned from Costa Rica where they won all 3 of the games played there. BYU host their home opener against the Los Angeles Misioneros May 24th on the South Field at 8 p.m.

      Real Salt Lake returns to action at its Rio Tinto Stadium home against FC Dallas on Saturday, May 26. Tickets for that night’s game can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727.2701.

      RSL had players who went to their respective national team camps, as MF Kyle Beckerman, GK Nick Rimando were called to national team camp U.S. and were not in attendance. MF Will Johnson (Canada) and FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) could potentially participate in the early June FIFA dates … 18-year old RSL MF Luis Gil could potentially be included in the U.S. U-20 camp this summer as well.

Brigham Young University 1: REAL SALT LAKE 1
SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012
South Field

Goals by Period                    1          2          F
Brigham Young                       0          1          1
Real Salt Lake                        1          0          1

Scoring Summary:               RSL – Johnson (Espindola) 46’
                                               BYU _ Gates (Cutler) 89’

Misconduct Summary:         BYU –  (Hard Foul) 47’
                                                RSL –  Alvarez (Hard Foul) 64’
                                                            Cruz (Hard Foul) 80’
RSL Shots- 21, Shots on Goal 3
BYU Shots- 3, Shots on Goal 4
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2) – Kyle Reynish; , Jamison Olave, Terukazu Tanaka, Chris Estridge (Andreas Chronis 46’); Leone Cruz, Yordany Alverez, Will Johnson (Ned Grabavoy 46’), Luis Gil, Jonny Steele, Emiliano Bonfigli (Alvaro Saborio 46’), Fabian Espindola (Cody Arnoux 46’) Substitutes Only Made at the beginning of second half

Brigham Young Cougars (4-3-3) – Hale Bryan 00 GK, Sterling Hancock 5,Douglas Clark 6, Jonathan Junca 8, Will Burton 23, James Bindrup 22, Dallin Cutler 4, Jace Green 19, Scott Heaton 15, Garrett Losee 13, David Gates 12
Substitutes Used: 6 substitutes in the first half, 8 substitutions in the second half with the last sub coming in the 91st minute.

Referee: Alex Krelow 
Referee's Assistants: Brad Jensen, Hamed Sadeghi 4th Official: Justice Jex

Attendance: 3,845
Time of Game: 5:05
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees

Monday, April 25, 2011

Taekwondo Students Prepare for National Competition

I have been working on a press release for the martial arts school that my little brother Eric attends. They are trying to create a little bit of awareness about the program and get others interested in possibly sponsoring the school, or individual martial art students. Some of them, along with my brother, need to raise $2500 by the end of June to go to a national competition in California. Let's see who decides to run this press release I wrote

Local Taekwondo Students Compete In Preparation For National Competition

Lindon, Utah- April 25, 2011- Beyond Sports Taekwondo will be hosting a Wasatch Exhibition competition Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 9 a.m. to give forefront experience in tournament combating to students who will fight against top competitors from around the country at a national Taekwondo competition this June in San Jose, Calif.

Taekwondo is a martial arts self-defense sport fairly new to Utah, but has been steadily growing in the Utah County area. Not only do students learn self-defense, but also learn how to master forms that enable students to have controlled techniques that aid in the development of leaderships skills.

There are those Students who want to move on to nationals in hopes of attaining experience on a national level, but due to the high expense of traveling to nationals, only a fraction of students will be able to participate. Finding sponsorship has always been a challenge to obtain, yet is vital in order to help students advance in this rigorous sport.

Master Instructor Taralyn Sorenson at Beyond Sports Taekwondo said, “The main bulk of what I do is all about creating great kids out of leadership programs to give them self-control and discipline skills.”

Not only do students receive martial art instruction, but they also have the opportunity to become instructors and assist in teaching students in lower belt classes.

“I hope to one day qualify to compete in the U.S. Olympics. By helping to instruct lower belt students, I feel like it helps me to understand the techniques better to help me to reach that goal someday,” said 16-year-old Eric Nixon who holds a 2nd degree Black Belt.

Taekwondo is the name of the martial art turned modern international sport which has been independently developed over about 20 centuries in Korea. The main feature of Taekwondo is that it is a free-fighting combat sport using bare hands and feet to repel an opponent. Taekwondo no more the sport of an eastern small country, Korea, has become one of the world's most prominent sports participated in by some 40 million people in more than 142 countries. The International Olympic Committee admitted the Taekwondo as an official event of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Australia. As a result, Taekwondo is poised to take another leap in its advance towards new dimensions. All events are open to the public.

For more information:

Beyond Sports Taekwondo: 801-796-0412, www.beyondsportsutah.com


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recapturing Frank Abagnale's Speech Given to UVU

Frank Abagnale, a New Yorker made famous by Film Director/Producer Stephen Spielberg's movie "Catch Me If You Can," was a guest speaker at UVU today telling his version of his teenage adventures when he took advantage of the banking system and wrote fraudulent checks totaling 2.5 million dollars in 26 countries.

The story began at the age of 16 when he met his parents at the family courthouse. The judge told Frank that his parents were getting divorced. Being confused over the option of choosing a parent to live with, he left upset and wouldn't see his mom for another 7 years.
Unable to obtain a decent working wage at 16, he lied about his age telling people that he was 10 years older than he really was. At age 16 he was 6 ft. tall, and had partial gray hair. Even then he saw that he was unable to obtain good work with good wages.

After forging a few checks, he decided it was time to get out of New York, so he wouldn't get caught. He started his criminal career posing as a Pan-American Airways pilot where he posed as a pilot flying around the world riding in the jump-seat in the cockpit of other airlines so he wouldn't get caught. He was so brilliant that he came up with ways to get a uniform and an identification card for free. He did so by posing as someone he wasn't and giving clever lies to people in order to get what he wanted. Pan-Am estimates that from the age of 16 to 18 he boarded 256 airplanes and had flown a million miles to 26 different countries without stepping on-board of a single Pan-Am airplane; all that flying and hotel stay on the airline's budget.
Continuing to fraud checks along the way to gain money, the FBI eventually caught up to him. It was time to move on. He went to Georgia and posed as a doctor. He knew exactly what to do in order to aggravate the other doctors so they would avoid him. He was only asked to be on duty for 2 weeks during his time at the hospital.

He went on to be a lawyer. A law degree wasn't required to be a lawyer in Louisiana, so he spent 2 months studying and passed the bar. He eventually resigned.

He continued to fraud checks and even figured out how to magnetically encode deposit slips, so that people who used those slips would be depositing into his account.

Frank was only arrested once, in Southern France on a Sweedish warrant. He was convicted of forgery and sentenced to prison.
Spielberg recreated every little detail according to the prison log-book Spielberg also went to Sweden penetentary to learn about Frank's past.
A U.S. Federal judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison in Virginia, but he only served 4 years in prison. He was then offered the chance to work with the FBI to help the fraud dept. out. He accepted that job and continues working with the FBI 35 year later. He resides in Charleston SC.

He had little to do with the movie. He didn't participate in the making of the film. Spielberg did his own research. According to Spielberg, he chose to immortalize Abagnale on film, not for his past crimes, but for what he has done in the 30 some odd years since for his country.

Abagnale and his family were very pleased with the outcome of the film.

Frank says that if he were as brilliant as people say that he is, he wouldn't have found it necessary to break the law. Although people find it very fascinating what he did, he looks at what he did as immoral, unethical and a burden to him.

He ended his speech talking about his dad and the importance of fathers. All 16 year olds are just children, and like all children, they need their mother and their father. ALL children are entitled a mother and father.
He cried himself to sleep every night until he was 19 and missed out on the luxuries that ordinary teenagers enjoy.

Frank said, "I owe this country 800 times more than he could ever repay it, for giving me a second chance these past 36 years." He has turned down 3 pardons from 3 sitting President's of the United States, because he doesn't feel like that would pardon his actions.

In ending his speech, he mentioned that his wife changed his life. He gives all credit for everything he has, was or ever given to his wife.

He reminds men to remember what it means to "actually be a man." "Being a man has nothing to do with money, achievements, skills, accomplishments, possessions. A real man loves his wife, is faithful to his wife, who is a real man next to god and his country and places his wife first. "Nothing has brought me more joy than striving to be a good husband and father."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Zuckerberg Speaks at BYU

When I heard Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg was coming to town, I jumped all over the opportunity to go listen to what the youngest billionaire in the world had to say about success and technology.
Last week U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch invited Mark Z. to come to Provo and have an informal forum with him in front of a crowd of nearly 11,000. This was the first time Mark has ever visited a college campus to talk. Mark even mentioned how nervous he was to speak in front of so many people. He had never spoken to such a crowd. He quickly got over his shyness and did a good job talking about his company, and the major things he looks for in future employees and entrepreneurs. Senator Hatch is a form BYU alum, and did quite a candid job asking Mark some questions that had been submitted by BYU students.
Some things that stood out to me were a few simple things Mark said. He mentioned that the key to any company is the people who are employed. Make sure that everyone who you hire is great at what they do.
Mark took a psychology class while at Harvard and mentioned how it is the most important course along with sociology. It's important for
people to know what's going on with their friends and family. He just helped to provide the tools necessary to allow this.
My favorite part was the part where he mentioned what he looks for in hiring people. Passion. He said, “We look for people who are passionate about something. In a way, it almost doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about. What we really look for when we’re interviewing people is what they’ve shown an initiative to do on their own.”
What have you taken initiative to lead lately? He wants to hire people who think that his organization is broken and want to help make it better in other ways that they are currently not using.
After this technology forum I got the chance to talk to one of my best friends from Spain, Javier. He is doing an internship with a local Spanish tv station. He wanted to interview a couple people about what they had just heard, so he interviewed me in Spanish, along with a good friend of mine, Cristina. It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I went.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Return of OMD

Those who know me know that I am a big fan of music, especially 80s music. I have spent the last few years rediscovering songs from my childhood. I think I've done a pretty good job recovering songs that I can remember hearing when I was a kid. The best part is that all the songs I remember are still big hits. I think I have really good taste in music.
Some of the earliest songs I can remember hearing are songs from Tears for Fears, Animotion, and OMD. How cool is it to be able to attend one of these familiar groups in concert?
OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), A British pop group organized in 1978, came to Salt Lake City on March 23, 2011 for the first time in 23 years, and guess who was there? Me.
I had nearly forgotten how much I love synthesizer-pop music. It's great. I didn't really know what to expect from these guys, but I was very surprised with how hip they still are. The lead vocalist, Andy McClusky, is 51 and had the most fantastic almost spazzy type dance moves.
The concert held at the Depot was sold out. There was a good range of attendees, but I'd guess that the average age was upper 30s.
They put on a terrific show, and I would love to see them again in concert. My biggest disappointment was that they didn't play "Secrets". After returning to the stage to do an encore, my friends and I thought for sure they would be playing Secrets. Instead OMD played a song off their new album and Electricity, their first hit song they wrote at the age of 16.
The band apologized for taking so long to return to Salt Lake, and promised that they would return soon.